Friday, December 3, 2021

The October Fishing Season in the 10,000 Islands



Capt. Pete Rapps

For us fishing enthusiasts in the 10,000 Islands, fall can prove to be our absolute favorite time of year! While the sun can still be strong during October, and the air will still be a bit thick, you can expect the regular rainstorms to taper off, as the changing of the season starts to take place. With warm air and water, at temperatures around 87 and 81 degrees respectively, October offers some great fishing in the area, and it can pay to know what to expect. Looking at the Solunar calendar and tides, I like what I see on the 11th–15th during the new moon phase, and the 26th-30th during the full moon phase.

If you’re looking for bait fish, October is the time to throw that cast net into the near shoreline waters and pull up some pilchards and thread herring. When the tide is high, you can stick by the shoreline and make out pretty well, but you’ll need to head out into somewhat deeper waters as the tide begins to drift back out. One great rule of thumb to follow is to keep your eye on the birds, as

A small rat red with multiple spots caught on a Captain Rapps charter PHOTOS BY CAPTAIN RAPPS

A small rat red with multiple spots caught on a Captain Rapps charter PHOTOS BY CAPTAIN RAPPS

they’ll be flocking and swooping right where the schools will be hanging out.

Whether your livewell is full of fresh caught bait fish or store purchased live shrimp, you’ll be able to land yourself some really nice redfish in the area during the October fishing season. As the waters begin to cool down after the hot summer season, redfish are coming in hunting after the same pilchards and thread herring you’re catching by the shore, and fresh crustaceans in the oyster bars. If live bait isn’t your thing, there is luck to be found using jigs and lures too. I really like DOA Shrimp and DOA Swim baits.

Two other types of fish you can keep your eye out for during this time of the year are snook and spotted sea trout, both of which will be coming in with decent numbers as the October waters begin to cool. Along the mangrove shorelines, use your live bait and search the eddies along the moving waters up against the mangroves. Using this method, you can expect to land yourself some snook.

In shallower grass flat waters of around 3 to 5 feet is where you’ll find the spotted

Pete with a small spotted sea trout.

Pete with a small spotted sea trout.

sea trout. I like to fish the incoming tide for these guys. Using either live shrimp or artificial lures, you can expect to see some excellent spotted sea trout for yourself this time of year!

If you are looking for instruction or want to learn some new techniques, let’s get you out on a charter and our captains and myself will be happy to give you all the guidance you need to have a successful day out on the water.


Captain Rapps’ Charters & Guides offers year-round, expert-guided, light-tackle, near-shore, and backwater fishing trips in the Ten Thousand Islands and the Everglades National Park out of Goodland, Everglades City, and Chokoloskee, and spring-time Tarpon-only charters in the Florida Keys. Capt. Rapps’ top-notch fleet offers family-friendly charters that are fun for men, women, and children of all ages – from first-timers to experienced anglers. With our team’s years of experience, vast knowledge of the area, and easygoing demeanors, you are guaranteed to have a great day on the water. Book your charter 24/7 using the online booking calendar, and see Capt. Rapps’ first class web site for booking information, videos, recipes, and more (don’t miss his world-class seafood seasonings!) at


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